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Call to Action | 5 Shifts

Call to Action

Shifting philanthropy’s outmoded ways of working is the challenge that will define the sector in the coming decade. Committing to transform our region means that everyone rolls up their sleeves and puts the good of the whole—a shared vision of inclusive regional prosperity and well-being—above individual organizational mandates and missions. This requires funders to embrace new narratives of possibility and inclusive decision-making, invoke new mental models, shift organizational and philanthropic sector culture, change default behaviors, and make bolder, more generous, and community-responsive commitments... and to act on them. The case studies included here demonstrate that nonprofits—especially those led by and serving BIPOC populations—are already exercising leadership to affect these shifts. It’s time that we joined them.

Northern California Grantmakers is kicking off an action plan to support philanthropy in making these 5 Shifts toward sharing power, leveraging multiple forms of capital, centering racial and other forms of equity, and philanthropic practices demonstrated to yield significant and lasting change. Taken together, this suite of actions can seem daunting. Every philanthropic entity has the capacity to start the journey somewhere, remain steadfast in transforming their practice, and accumulate colleagues, allies, and supporters along the way that will evolve these approaches from aspiration to reality. This work is urgent because both the needs and the opportunities are pressing. The future of our communities is at stake.


Here's how you can take action now: 


You can find graphics, language, and information about the 5 Shifts for media use here.

Get Involved

Are you a donor or trustee looking to improve your practices? Do you know someone who would benefit from getting involved? Contact our team at for individual support. 


This report is meant to give you an entry point to embracing and applying the 5 Shifts. NCG is kicking off an action plan to help you. If you'd like to be the first to know about events, trainings, and planning, sign up below.